Sunday, 8 May 2016

NANIA 'WINNIE' KODI - A WOMAN'S VOICE OF SOUTH KORDUFAN STATE IN SUDAN SPEAKS TO THE EARS AND HEARTS OF THE WORLD

WARNING - IF YOU HAVE A SOUL - THE IMAGES HERE WILL UPSET YOU TO THE EXTREME!

Sudan modified Antonov plane - it drops barrel bombs on black villages killing indiscriminately


Sudan Air Force Russian Mig fighter jet - it also drops bombs on black villages killing indiscriminately
Sudan Air Force Hind Attack Helicopter - it drops bombs on black villages, also fires rockets into black villages, and hovers to kill the fleeing survivors with machine gun fire.

                                       A village the Sudan Military attacked this year (2016)

                                                 Black villagers fleeing for their lives

                                               The charred remains of the black tribal village



            One victim who's charred remains attest to the cruel death he suffered for no reason

                                         An elder who was killed in the unprovoked attack

                                      A mother who was also killed in the unprovoked attack

Innocent black children literally BLOWN IN HALF by the unprovoked attack by the Sudan Air Force

    A young woman killed by shrapnel or machine-gun fire during the unprovoked attack

Another innocent child maimed in the unprovoked attack by the Sudan Air Force on the black tribal village

I was privileged to be a co-mentor (with my Taino sister Tai Pellicier - fellow alumni graduate) for 1st year & 2nd year students, on the Project Access 12th Annual Global Capacity-building Training Workshop for Indigenous Peoples, New York, May 4-6 2016......in conjunction with the 15th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, May 9-20th 2016.

We met Nania 'Winnie' Kodi of the Nuba People, South Kordufan State, Sudan....and it was my privilege to interview her and be allowed to peer briefly into her incredible life - as you will read below:
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FIRST SOME INDEPENDENTLY SOURCED BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
In the last government census in the 1980's her Nuba people (a broad umbrella term for many negroid tribes) were estimated to number just over 2 million......however, in the most recent government census of 2003 the government estimated just over 1 million remained.....those 1 million that are no longer accounted for are either dead, or have fled for their lives into exile (or moved to Arab cities in the north and converted to Islam - abandoning their Tribal identity to survive)...and you will soon understand why.

War in South Kordufan State Sudan? I never even heard of the place! All we ever hear about in our western mainstream media is the war between South Sudan (primarily animist Christian indigenous negroid tribes) and North Sudan (primarily Muslim Arab and mixed Arab/Negroid settlers who migrated into Sudan and pushed the indigenous negroid tribes south). Furthermore, the government of Sudan will deny that any war is occurring in South Kordufan state (and they deliberately block any media reporting of the war here)....they prefer to portray the ongoing war there as 'infrequent skirmishes with anti-government terrorists and criminal pockets of resistance'......in MY opinion - it is a genocide with an ethnic cleansing component.

Like Southern Sudan, the people of South Kordufan State were promised a referendum on Independence, but after South Sudan voted for freedom no referendum was ever held in South Kordufan (perhaps the government feared they too would opt for Independence), and the rumours of vast mineral wealth in South Kordufan (oil, gold, silver & uranium) I suspect - plays a large role in the Government wanting to hold on to this State at all costs.

It is widely known that in order for an Animist Christian to have a 'better' life in Sudan, they must convert to Islam, and if they are literate in Arabic they are told that they 'are now civilised', some men join the army where they 'prove' their new loyalty to the Islamic State of Sudan - by going back to fight and kill their fellow black animist-Christian tribal brothers & sisters in South Kordufan, South Sudan and other areas where armed resistance to the government exists. ...so you have black cousins - at the behest of the Arab Government - killing each other on a grotesque scale; in the vain attempt to merely be able to live and raise their families in peace among the Arab masters of North Sudan.

The renewed genocidal push and ethnic cleansing of South Kordufan state were 'coincidentally' launched when the 'Arab Spring' erupted - and ALL the worlds media attention was focused on North Africa and the Middle East....and NOT on what the Sudanese Arab government military forces were doing to indigenous black tribes in their own borders....but a government should be held accountable to ALL it's citizens - whether they are indigenous or not - about how it is treating them....and the government of Sudan has NOT been held accountable for the genocide it wages on the indigenous negroid tribes.
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 When Nania was just 5 years old she remembers that there was a trench near her traditional home in her tribal village, whenever her family heard planes coming they would rush out to lay down in these trenches and hope no bombs dropped ON them, because as long as the bombs dropped around them - being below ground level in the trench would save your life from the blast and shrapnel....what a life for a 5 year old little girl!
These bombing runs usually occurred by modified Antonov planes late into the dry season before the rainy season started, as foliage cover was most minimal, and fires ignited by the bombs would do more destruction to the village, crop fields and livestock.

Much later the Helicopters (Flown usually by Libyan and Iraqi mercenary pilots) were Russian Hind MI 24 Gunships - and they became actually more feared than the Mig Fighter Jets or Antonov planes (these aircraft are piloted by Russian mercenaries) that only dropped bombs, because the Hind Helicopter gunships would fly low and take the time to hunt and kill as many people as the merciless pilots spotted fleeing for their lives, and they did this with rockets and machine-gun fire.

There are mountains near her village and there are caves in these mountains, some winding true cave systems, others just one big cavernous room with only one wide entrance and exit......and they began to permanently place the children and elderly to live in these caves & caverns to survive the aerial attacks.....until one day a Hind Helicopter Gunship saw a cavern and hovered directly in front of it....although the pilot could see they were only unarmed women, children, and elderly in that cavern hiding in fear - he still brutally sprayed them with machine gun fire and cut everyone to pieces....none survived.
The Nuba people are fatalistic now, believing that "If it is your time to die you will die - no matter where you hide"

She has lost so many cousins to both sides of the war that she is unable to count them all.
"We are caught between a rock and a hard place, because it is almost impossible to preserve your right to culture and your language and identity etc, when every day you are pre-occupied with just ONE right - your right to life!"also to make matters worse, 99% of the time when you are able to safely flee your village and actually make it to a refugee camp somewhere, uthen you are told "We do not have enough food here to feed ourselves, we are sorry but you must go back or go elsewhere" (as human beings are reduced to a survival of the fittest mentality from the trauma of war).

So Nania became a refugee and lived between Sudan and Kenya for the last 20 years (she is 28 now), she focused her energy and commitment to educating herself - confident that one day it would enable her to help her people.
Nania is on the verge of graduating from Daystar University in Nairobi Kenya with a Masters Degree in Development Communication; an amazing accomplishment for one who has been traumatized so much in her short life....but she never forgot her home village and the journey that had led her to this point in her life.

Unfortunately, when she IS able to make the long dangerous journey back home to South Kordufan - she is unable to sleep there from the nightmares of what happened in the past, and the sounds of aircraft bombing other nearby villages in the present....they never know when next it will be their villages turn to be bombed again.

On another positive note....Nania is hoping that everything she has learned in the Project Access Training will give her a new perspective on the situation in South Kordufan, with a view to somehow being in a position to help achieve a lasting peace on the ground in her tribal homeland.

Finally in her own words:
"The Project Access Training has been an amazing learning experience, and the teachers were all fantastic - especially Mrs. Andrea Carmen, it is also good to know that you are not alone in the struggle your people face...other tribal peoples all over the world are also facing struggles just of different contexts....and we are all united together in solidarity to find peaceful solutions."


Damon Gerard Corrie
Alumni/Mentor
Project Access 12th Annual Global Capacity-Building Training Workshop for Indigenous Peoples, New York, May 4-6 2016.

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